स होवाचाजातशत्रुः, एतावन्नु इति; एतावद्धीति; नैतावता विदितं भवतिति; स होवाच गार्ग्यः, उप त्वा यानीति ॥ १४ ॥
sa hovācājātaśatruḥ, etāvannu iti; etāvaddhīti; naitāvatā viditaṃ bhavatiti; sa hovāca gārgyaḥ, upa tvā yānīti || 14 ||
Seeing Gārgya in that state Ajātaśatru said, ‘Is this all the knowledge of Brahman that you have? Or is there anything else?’ The other said, ‘This is all.’ Ajātaśatru said, ‘By knowing this much one cannot claim to know Brahman. Why then did you proudly say you would teach me about Brahman?’
Objection: Does it mean that this much knowledge amounts to nothing?
Reply: No, for the Śruti describes meditations with particular results. Those passages cannot certainly be construed as mere eulogy. For wherever a meditation has been set forth, we find phrases conveying original injunctions as for instance, ‘All-surpass: ing, (the head) of all beings’ (II. i. 2). And corresponding results are everywhere distinctly mentioned. This would be inconsistent were the passages merely eulogistic.
Objection: Why then was it said, ‘By knowing this much one cannot know (Brahman)?’
Reply: There is nothing wrong in it. It has a relation to the capacity of the aspirant. Gārgya, who knew only the conditioned Brahman, proceeded to teach Ajātaśatru, who was the listener, about Brahman. Therefore the latter, who knew the unconditioned Brahman, was right in saying to Gārgya, ‘You do not know the true or unconditioned Brahman that you proceeded to teach me about.’ If he wanted to refute Gārgya’s knowledge of the conditioned Brahman too. he would not say, ‘By knowing this much’; he would simply say, ‘You know nothing.’ Therefore we admit that in the sphere of ignorance there are all these phases of Brahman. Another reason for saying, ‘By knowing this much one cannot know (Brahman)’ is that this knowledge of the conditioned Brahman leads to that of the Supreme Brahman. That these phases of Brahman consist of name, form and action and have to be known in the sphere of ignorance, has been shown in the first chapter. Therefore the statement, ‘By knowing this much one cannot know (Brahman),’ implies that there is some other phase of Brahman which should be known. Gārgya, being
versed in the code of conduct, knew that that knowledge must not be imparted to one who was not a regular student. So he himself said, ‘I approach you as would any other student approach his teacher.’